Rants and Raves

Alone : The Classic Polar Adventure – *****

Alone: The Classic Polar Adventure

Alone: The Classic Polar Adventure by Richard Evelyn Byrd

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A relatively quick read and very interesting even though I was worried I wouldn’t like the book’s story (it was a gift). The afterword was a welcome addition which helps provide some historical context and insight after the tale had ended.

I think it was interesting timing that I read this given what is going on in the world right now with Covid-19. In particular, this account of the author being alone in the Antarctic had a few passages that seemed very relevant to today.

eg: being solo and trapped inside and keeping to a schedule -the author was to be taking weather readings at regular times and had to maintain his hut/base- extreme WFH? Even Scott Kelly (astronaut) wrote about this recently in the NY Times.

Another example was a passage about a previous expedition with a healthy crew in isolation, but one day they opened a crate of old clothes and all of them got sick.


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Zero Cool – ****

Another pulp romp. A dangerous dame in Spain. A doctor in over his head. Treasure and treachery…

Turns out this was written by Michael Crichton. I didn’t know Michael Crichton wrote pulp under a pseudonym. It doesn’t surprise me, but I didn’t know.

Decent fun.

So Nude, So Dead – ***

So Nude, So DeadSo Nude, So Dead by Ed McBain
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Every time I finish a Hard Case Crime book I wonder how and when I got in to pulp. I guess it’s officially my guilty pleasure. I have a bunch of them on my e-reader and if I’m on the bus and can’t balance my paper book then I tend to churn through these. Can I recommend them all? Probably not- the women are usually props- sometimes they’re the main character but not all the time. And then there’s the race angle from the period. That said – jazz, drugs, murder, dames, revenge… what’s not to like with that?

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Closing out the 2019 Books

Radical Candor – ****

Had heard about this book for a while but when I got promoted a direct report recommended that I read it. There’s some decent advice in here.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You – ***

There were some interesting chapters and studies in there, but it felt like a really long blog post at times instead of a full book. I’m not sure why I get that vibe, but it stuck with me.

Slow Horses – ***

I enjoyed this quite a bit. The author has published more now, so there’s a series. I may try the second one soon.

My Struggle: Book 1 – ****

Ooof- pretty serious, but well written. I’m not sure I’ll read more in the series unless friends recommend particular volumes.

Anansi Boys – ****

Another enjoyable read. This may have been my first Gaiman novel to read (can that be right?).

Follow up links / further reading